I’ll keep this short and sweet. How to prime a berkey.
When you purchase a replacement set of black berkey water filters, or a new berkey water filter system, this is the quick way to get the water flowing through the filter media.
By the way, you don’t need to prime a berkey water filter. It WILL flow and work just fine. The only difference is that it will take longer to get the water flow going at a good rate.
I took some pictures to show you how to prime a berkey filter element. Keep reading…
Step by Step Instructions
First, if your water faucet allows it, remove the aerator. That’s the part at the end where the water comes out. Just unscrew it. Not all water faucets have this convenience. Yours may vary.
Next, with the rubber gasket inserted into/onto the black berkey stem, hold the filter and press the filter stem up and into the water faucet. What you are going to do is gently force water pressure into and through the black berkey filter media.
If you don’t hold it tight enough, when you turn on the cold water (do it slowly), you’re going to get wet (pressure builds up in there). Ask me how I know…
It helps with two people because three hands works best. One person holding the berkey filter up against the water faucet with one hand (the other hand holding the faucet itself so you can apply some pressure to hold against it. The other person will slowly turn on the cold water spigot handle.
You will hear the water running and filling into the black berkey as it primes. Then, after a bit, say about 20 seconds (depending on water pressure) you’ll see water starting to bubble it’s way out the outside of the filter.
The bubbles (water) will work its way down the filter to the bottom. Then you’re done.
Shut off water before releasing the filter against the water faucet (otherwise you’ll get wet!).
Pictures How-to Prime Berkey Filter Media
TIP: You see the black rubber washer/gasket in-between the top of the filter and the faucet? That’s the one that stays on the filter stem for installation into the upper reservoir.
However, when you order a replacement set of filters, they include a additional single (light tan) rubber washer which is softer. Apparently the intent is to use that one on the stem for priming each of the filters (easier/softer – better temporary seal against the faucet). I forgot to use that one for the photo. Just remember to put the black gasket back on when you’re done.
This picture shows the beading water bubbles as the filter gets primed. It has almost worked its way down to the bottom of the black berkey filter element in this photo.
That’s it! All done.
By the way, if and when you need replacements, I highly recommend you purchase them through Jeff (the Berkey Guy) who has been in our industry for more than a decade. Thanks.
Visit their site: USA Berkey Filters